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NCAA Div. III Cedar Crest College of Pennsylvania adds varsity women's wrestling

by Cedar Crest Athletics

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Cedar Crest College Director of Athletics, Wellness and Recreation Dr. Allen G. Snook Jr., has announced the addition of women's wrestling as the 11th varsity sport offered by the College. The program will start intercollegiate open tournament competition this fall and begin full dual meet competition in the fall of 2023 in the Women's Collegiate Wrestling Coalition (WCWC), which includes institutions from NCAA Division I, II, III, the NAIA, and NCJCC.

Cedar Crest will become the first college or university in the Lehigh Valley and second women's college to sponsor an NCAA women's wrestling program.

"This announcement comes at such a pivotal time in sports as we honor and celebrate all those individuals who have come before us pushing for women's rights and the opportunity to engage and participate in all sports," stated Snook. "Women's wrestling is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States and is thriving at the high school level. I applaud our campus leadership for having the vision and ambition to be at the forefront of this great sport."

"Women now have a destination at Cedar Crest to create a legacy not only for themselves but also for the College and its community as a whole. I can't wait to watch our students display their talent at the local, regional and national level," Snook continued.

Cedar Crest College has been known for bringing to life cutting-edge programs in niche fields. Now, in the 50th anniversary year of the enactment of Title IX, the College is primed to step into a sport that up until recently was predominantly offered to men.

"I am excited that Cedar Crest is able to be at the forefront for these athletes and offer them an opportunity to continue competing in a sport they love while attaining a quality education here at Cedar Crest," added Cedar Crest Faculty Athletic Representative, Dr. Diane Moyer, a 1980 and 1984 Olympic bronze medalist and advocate for women and sports.

Currently, 114 colleges and universities in the United States sponsor women's wrestling on the varsity level. Women's wrestling is currently in the Emerging Sports category of the NCAA and is close to full NCAA sponsorship. The WCWC administers the sport while it awaits official approval status by national collegiate organizations. Teams compete in freestyle formats in 10 weight classes, ranging from 101 to 191 pounds.

"This extraordinary announcement represents the 115th intercollegiate women's wrestling program in all divisions and governing bodies that have been established since 1999," Mike Moyer, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) said about the news. "I know I speak for our NWCA Board of Directors and staff when I say that the Cedar Crest College administration has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in their efforts to establish the first intercollegiate women's wrestling program in the Lehigh Valley where there is so much history and tradition in wrestling. This builds incredible momentum for our sport. More importantly, this means more opportunities for more students. This is a win we should all be celebrating."

The College will be a part of the Northeast Region of the WCWC, which currently is the largest region in the Coalition.

"I am so proud of the efforts it took to make this idea come to life," said Dr. Elizabeth M. Meade, President of Cedar Crest College. "As with many of our new programs, this idea came from conversations about future possibilities. Using a strategic, focused approach, we were able to capitalize on the strength of who we are and who we want our students to become. Therefore, in this anniversary year and in our 155th year of operation, we take the steps to launch this new and exciting sport and welcome the women who will continue to pave the way."

The addition of women's wrestling comes at a time of incredible growth and success for Cedar Crest College Athletics. Over the past five years, the program has seen four conference championships, two NCAA appearances, 12 Coach of the Year awards, six Player of the Year awards and seven Rookie of the Year awards. Cedar Crest student-athletes have excelled in the classroom as well, garnering back-to-back academic awards for the highest grade point average in the conference, with one award recording the highest GPA in conference history.

The announcement also garnered recognition from Wrestle Like A Girl, an organization whose mission is to empower girls and women using the sport of wrestling to become leaders in life.

"Wrestle Like A Girl is incredibly excited by the announcement that Cedar Crest College will be starting a women's wrestling program," said Julia Salata, the Senior Manager of Women's Collegiate Advancement at Wrestle Like A Girl. "Cedar Crest is helping to break new ground as the second all-women's college in the nation to start a women's wrestling program. Women's wrestling is exploding at the NCAA level, and we're thrilled to have another institution adopting the sport as we begin the transition to NCAA Championship Sport status."

An extensive national search will begin immediately to fill the head coaching position. Learn more about Cedar Crest College Athletics and keep up with women's wrestling news at

Located in Allentown, Pa., Cedar Crest College has been named eleven years in a row among the top colleges in the nation by U.S. News & World Report's Best College Rankings and as a "Top Performer on Social Mobility" from 2020-2022. In 2020, the College was recognized as #5 among Washington Monthly's national "Master's University Ranking" and #17 "Best Bang for Your Buck: Northeast." In addition, the College was ranked nationally in the Council of Independent Colleges for educating women completing STEM bachelor's degrees who go on to earn Ph.D's and from 2017-2020 as a top 25 school for non-traditional students by Best College Reviews. Founded in 1867, Cedar Crest currently enrolls 1,400+ students — full-time, part-time and graduate — in more than 50 fields of study.